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Gainesville departments lay out goals for next fiscal year
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More Gainesville departments have laid out their goals and priorities for the next fiscal year as City Manager Kip Padgett prepares to unveil his proposed budget later this month.

The 2016 fiscal year begins July 1.

The Public Works Department is focused on implementing the transportation master plan, utilizing staff and inmate crews for litter control, street sweeping, improving landscaping around city-owned properties.

The department has identified 30 miles of roads for resurfacing out of 140 miles maintained by the city, with $200,000 coming from state and federal sources for improvements.

Calls for widening Green Street continue, and Public Works Director David Dockery said the city will conduct a thorough evaluation of the buried sewer and water infrastructure along a stretch between the U.S. Post Office and the Gainesville Civic Center to determine what impacts any widening would have.

Meanwhile, the Gainesville Conventions and Visitors Bureau, which launched last year, plans to promote visits and tours of Alta Vista Cemetery in the next year.

The cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Revolutionary War and Civil War veterans, former state governors and even an astronaut are buried at the 140-year-old municipal-owned resting place.

The city is also looking to begin implementing wayfinding signs.

Gainesville officials have already selected a design template for the signs.

The three-year project includes placing welcome signs, directional markers and points of interest maps at key locations throughout Gainesville.

The wayfinding signage is aimed at motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists alike, pointing both residents and visitors to various destinations in Gainesville, including tourist attractions, shopping centers, parks and more.

Finally, the Gainesville-Hall County Community Service Center, which supports the Senior Life Center, Meal on Wheels and the public transit service Gainesville Connection, has big plans for the coming year.

Director Phillippa Lewis Moss said she intends to work more closely with nonprofits in the coming year to ensure community resources are available to those in need, while also working with the Community Council on Aging to create a new fundraiser.

With the passage of a 1 percent special purpose local option sales tax, or SPLOST VII, last month, Moss said she and her staff are ready to begin establishing community focus groups to choose the design for a renovated Senior Life Center. 

About $1.5 million in SPLOST VII money is earmarked for the proposed renovations which, include new conference rooms, a fitness center, music and billiards room, a pottery studio, a café and salon, a library and commercial kitchen.

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